You are on page 1of 7

Send Orders for Reprints to reprints@benthamscience.

ae
954

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, 9, 954-960

Open Access

A Study on the Static Stability of Scissor Lift


Wei Zhang*,1,2,3, Chen Zhang2, Jiangbo Zhao3 and Chunzhi Du1
1

Airport College, Civil Aviation University of China, 100 Road Xunhai, Tianjin, P.R. China

Sino-European Institute of Aviation Engineering, 100 Road Xunhai, Tianjin, P.R. China

Aviation Ground Special Equipment Research 100 Road Xunhai, Tianjin, P.R. China
Abstract: This paper studies the static stability of six kinds of scissor lifts with one input force of hydraulic actuator, and
the input is on the lines of the nodes of the scissor lifts. Firstly the static stability of single scissor arm is studied by using
energy method and modeling method in the software Nastran. The stability results of two methods are compared. Then the
scissor lift models with hydraulic actuators are made to analyze the static stability. The static stability of six kinds of
scissor lifts are compared. The results of the overall model are closer to the actual situation. By analyzing single arm
models it is easier to compare theoretical solutions and modeling solutions, thus the study of stability of single scissor arm
is meaningful.

Keywords: Scissor lift, static stability, energy method, finite element method.
1. INTRODUCTION OF SCISSOR LIFTS WITH
DIFFERENT INPUT VECTORS
Scissor lifting mechanism is a typical lift machine [1-6]
which has many advantages such as stable structure [4],
reliable operation [1], high efficiency [2, 3, 5] and low
failure rate [2, 6], etc. As a key component of platforms, the
stability of scissors lifting mechanism determines the safety
of the platform equipment [1, 6]. The instablility of scissor
lift will make agency staff wounded or even death. In this
paper, models of single scissor arm are made by using Finite
Element software. The Critical load is calculated by buckling
analysis. The theoretical results of critical loads are
calculated by using energy method. The two results of
modeling and energy method are compared. The FEM
models of the total scissor lifts mechanism are made and the
stability of scissor lifts with different input vectors are
compared.
For a scissor lift with one input force of hydraulic
actuator, and the input is on the lines of the nodes of the
scissor lifts, there are 6 different kinds of scissor lifts in total,
as shown in Fig. (1).
2. RELATED DATA OF MODELS
The main parts of scissor lifts are two scissor arms, a
hydraulic actuator and a platform. The models are simplified
as two dimension models with a hypothesis that the load W
is fixed in the middle of the platform. The actuator force is P,
the length of two scissor arms are 2 L with their number
shown in Fig. (2).

The first kind of scissor lift is shown with the angle


between ground and the scissor arm, the blue line represents
the hydraulic actuator. All the references of the scissor lift
are shown in Fig. (2).
The material of the scissor arm is aluminum alloy, with
Youngs modulus 70 GPa, Poisson ratio 0.3 and density
2.5 10 6 kg mm 3 . The material of the hydraulic actuator is
steel with Youngs modulus 200 GPa, Poisson ratio 0.3, and
density is 7.8 10 6 kg mm 3 .
Based on the equation of input hydraulic force and the
load, we can get

P=

2Wl
N sin + M cos tan

(1)

The references M and N in the six cases are shown in


Table 1.
For all the rest of the research the data of all references
are given:l=600mm, W=2000N, the valuevaries from 15
degree to 45 degree. All the other data of references are
shown in Table 2.
The cross section of the scissor arm is shown in Fig. (3),
with the data B=30 mm, H=50 mm, b=24 mm, h=44 mm.
The area of the cross section, and the inertial moment.
A = HB hb = 444mm 2

I=

BH 3 bh 3
= 142000mm 4
12

3. STATIC ANALYSIS OF RIGID BODY


In order to analyze the stability of scissor arms, the
internal forces of the nodes must be calculated. Each of the
five nodes are given a number. In the coordinate system the
1874-155X/15

2015 Bentham Open

A Study on the Static Stability of Scissor Lift

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9 955

Fig. (1). Characteristic triangles of 6 different input configurations.

forces can be decomposed a sand. Since W is in the middle


of the platform, the hypothesis is given. The first case is
shown in Fig. (4).

Fig. (3). Characteristic triangles of 6 different input configurations.

Fig. (2). Characteristic triangles of 6 different input configurations.


Table 1.

Expressions of references between hydraulic force


and load.

Case

-c

f-2l

2l-f

c+f-2l

2l-c

2l-f

2l

f-c

Table 2.

Fig. (4). Coordinate system and number of nodes in the scissor lifts.

Expressions of references of the six scissors.

Reference

c (mm)

200

200

f (mm)
a (mm)

200

200
548

300

W
2

6
200

300

d (mm)

Fy1 = Fy2 =

The equilibrium of the force for the whole scissor:

548

400
200
300

P cos + Fx4 = 0

(2)

W + P sin + Fy4 + Fy5 = 0

(3)

The equilibrium of the moment for the whole scissor:

L cos
+ Fy5L cos + Pasin = 0
2

(4)

The equilibrium of the force for the scissor arm number 1:

Fx3 = Fx4

(5)

956

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9

Fy3 + Fy4

Zhang et al.

W
=0
2

(6)

The equilibrium of the force for the scissor arm number


2:

W
+ Fy5 Fy3 + P sin = 0
2

(7)

The critical force F can be calculated by the derivation of


U to F. When the derivation equals 0, the relevant force
equals critical load.
Take the first case as an example. In order to analyze the
stability of scissor arm, a simplification of boundary
condition is given in Fig. (5).
Analyze the scissor arm number 1

From (2) to (7) we can calculate the internal forces of


nodes represented by W and P (See Table 3).
Table 3.

Expressions of internal forces for the first case.

Internal Forces of Nodes

Fx

P sin

asin
P sin P
L cos

P sin

W
asin
P sin + P
2
L cos

W
P sin
2

Fy

Fig. (5). Boundary condition of the scissor arm number 1 of first


case.

W
2

Define V as the deflection of the scissor arm and we can


get:
(11)

M 1 = F(Vmax + V1 ) + Fl

(12)

When there are vertical and axial load on the arm, it is


difficult to calculate the deflection. A simplification is made
to help solve the problem: the deflection of scissor arm is
made by axial load. Then we get the results:

4. STABILITY ANALYSIS OF SCISSOR ARM BY


ENERGY METHOD
The total potential energy of an object is equal to the
puissance of all forces from the stress state position to
unstressed position. Since both the external force and
internal force contributed to the puissance, the total potential
energy expression is

=U +V

M 2 = F(Vmax + V2 + l - x)

(8)

where U is internal potential energy V is outer energy. For


an elastic body, U equals to outer puissance, therefore
= -U

V1 =

Fx(l 2 - x 2 )
6EI

(13)

V2 =

Fx 3 Flx 2 Fl 2 x
6EI 2EI 3EI

(14)

Vmax = -

F 2 dx M 2 dx
dU =
+
2EA
2EI

(9)

(15)

When we can calculate the critical load. The result is


calculated in Matlab and we can get Fcr =21078 N. As for the
arm number 2 as shown in Fig. (6), there is a hydraulic force
at x=c, the axial force

F2 =(

For a scissor arm, when the derivative of potential energy


to the axial force equals 0, the arm is in equilibrium. When
the second derivative of potential energy to the axial force is
bigger than 0, the arm is in stable equilibrium. In this case
the axial load is the critical load.
The first derivative of internal energy is:

2Fl 3
3EI

W
asin
-P
)sin = 140kN
2
l cos

Fig. (6). Boundary condition of the scissor arm number 2 of first


case.

where F is the axial force, M is the moment of the arm.

Suppose there are vertical and axial load on the arm, for
right arm, the deflection is

Suppose the scissor arm can be divided into two parts of


length l, the integration of internal energy is:

U= (
0

2
2l F dx
F 2 dx M 12 dx
M 2 dx
+
)+ (
+ 2 )
l
2EA
2EI
2EA
2EI

where andare moments on the two parts of the arm.

F2 x(l 2 x 2 )
6EI
.
For left arm, we can divide it into two parts:

(10)

F3 (l c)x(x 2 l 2 + (l c)2 )
6lEI

0xc

A Study on the Static Stability of Scissor Lift

F3 (l x)c(x 2 l 2 + (l c)2 )
6lEI

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9 957

c xl

(16)

Now the scissor arm is composed of 3 parts

The critical load of the scissor arm number 2 of the first


case equals to =21030 N.

For the first part, 0<x<c: the deflection

F2 x(l 2 x 2 ) F3 (l c)x(x 2 l 2 + (l c)2 )


6EI
6lEI

V1 =

(17)

The moment of this part:

M 1 = F2l + F(Vmax + V1 ) + F3 (c - x) + F3, (Vc - x)

(18)

The deflection at x=c is

F c(l 2 c 2 ) F3 (l c)c(c 2 l 2 + (l c)2 )


Vc = 2
6EI
6lEI

(19)

At the second partc<x<l, the deflection of this part is

V2 =

Fx(l 2 x 2 ) F3 (l x)c(x 2 l 2 + (l c)2 )


6EI
6lEI

(20)

The moment of this part is

M 2 = FL + F(Vmax -V2 )

dU
d 2U
>0
=0
2
dF
, dF

(21)

W
asin
-P
)sin
2
l cos
1
2l
asin
=W( )sin
2 (2l c)sin + c cos tan l cos
Fcr = (

=21030 N.
The critical axail force and the critical load of the 6 kinds
of scissor lifts are calculated by using energy method. All the
results are shown in the Table 4. Since the fifth case is
special, the scissor arm number 1 of the fifth case does not
buckle or have a potential of losing stability under the
boundary condition that is given, in this paper we only study
the scissor arm number 2 of this case.
For each case of the scissor lifts, the final critical load
equals the smaller critical load of its two scissor arms.
For each case of the scissor lifts, the final critical load
equals the smaller critical load of its two scissor arms.

The third part is the right arm:


5. FEM MODELING ANALYSIS OF THE SCISSOR ARM

Fx 3 FLx 2
Fl 2 F3 (c 3 cl 2 )
+
+(
+
)x
6EI 2EI
3EI
6lEI

V3 = Vmax =

(22)

2Fl
F
+ 3 (c 3 cl 2 )
3EI 6EI

(23)

The moment of this part is

M 3 = F(Vmax V3 + l x)

(24)

Integrate the internal energy U on the three parts of the


scissor arm:

F 2 dx F3'2 dx M 12 dx
+
+
)
0 2EA
2EA
2EI
2
2
l F dx
l F dx
M 2 dx
M 2 dx
+ (
+ 2 )+ (
+ 3 )
c 2EA
0 2EA
2EI
2EI
c

U= (

(25)

Finite element method is an efficient and approximating


calculation method. It is also a method of numerical solution
of solving field problem. The principle is dividing the
continuous solution domain into a finite number of discrete
units, find an approximate solution with the approximate
function within each cell hypothesis, Then all the cells are
combined to form a corresponding numerical model
according to standard methods. In this paper MSC.Patran
and MSC.Nastran are used to analyse the static stability of
the scissor lift, the critical load of different cases are
analysed in Nastran by using buckling analyse.
Take the first case as an example, the main steps of
modeling in Patran are as follows:
1.

Building the geometry model: build a curve, with its


length 1200 mm, from the point (0, 0, 0) to the
point (1200, 0, 0).

When the critical load is calculated, we have


Table 4.

Critical axial force and critical load of the scissor lift.

Case

expression

W
sin
2

W P sin
cos
2

W - P sin
cos
2

W
sin
2

Fcr,1

1
asin
sin ( - P
)W
2
l cos

W
sin
2

W
sin
2

Fcr,1

21078

21080

5240

16300

Fcr,2

21030

20890

21080

21080

Wcr,1

59600

33460

52400

46110

Wcr,2

297300

59090

59630

58560

Fcr,2

expression

(P

2(l - f )sin( - ) W
- )cos
2l cos
2

W
sin
2
(

W
asin
-P
)cos
2
l cos

W
cos
2
18700

21080

20760
62900

112700

58730

958

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9

Zhang et al.

2.

Building meshes: build one dimension element to the


curve and give 101 nodes.

3.

Defining material: give aluminum to the scissor arm:


Youngs modulus equals 70 GPa, and poison ratio
equals 0.3.

4.

Defining property: give beam property (1D) to the


arms.

5.

Defining boundary conditions: boundary conditions


correspond to the models hypotheses

6. STATIC STABILITY ANALYSIS OF SCISSOR LIFT


MODEL

6.

Defining load: the load correspond to the models


hypotheses, add a force of <-707, -707, 0> on the
node of right edge.

7.

Analyze: choose buckling analysis and obtain the


buckling factor of first degree.

The scissor lift model studied in this factor includes two


scissor arms and a hydraulic actuator, the actuator is a
cylinder model with the material of steel. Static stability
analysis of the model includes scissor arm instability and
hydraulic cylinder instability.

8.

Access results: Access result of Nastran and get the


buckling factor in patran.

Take the two scissor arms of the second case of scissor


lift as the examples that modeled as type in Fig. (7), the
buckling results are shown in Figs. (8, 9).
The same analysis and the corresponding results of single
scissor arm buckling critical load factor can be obtained
through the six kinds of scissor lifts each. All the buckling
factors and critical loads of the six kinds of scissor lifts are
shown in Table 5. For each case the smaller critical load of
the two scissor arms is the critical load of the scissor lift.

Fig. (7). The modeling of scissor arm in Patran.

Fig. (8). Buckling results of the scissor arm number 1 of second case.

Similarly to the results of the energy method, the scissor


arm number 1 of the fifth case doesnt have a stability
problem in the hypothesis of boundary condition given in the
paper. Only the stability of scissor arm number 2 of fifth
case is considered. Take the results of energy method and
modeling method of the six cases of scissor lifts and make a
comparison. The result is shown in Table 6.

The property of the hydraulic actuator is one dimension


element with Youngs Modulus equals 200 Gpa and Poisson
ratio equals 0.3.
When making the model of scissor lift, we select the
lifting angle equals 15 degrees, 30 degrees and 45 degrees.
Take the first case with lifting angle equals 45 degree as an
example, the model is shown in Fig. (10).
For any kind of scissor lift, the minimum critical load
values in the three cases is the critical load of the case. The
critical buckling load factor and the modeling results
obtained are shown in Table 7.

A Study on the Static Stability of Scissor Lift

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9 959

Fig. (9). Buckling results of the scissor arm number 2 of second case.
Table 5.

Buckling factors and critical load of six cases of scissor lifts.

Case

W_energy (N)

59600

33460

52400

46110

112700

62900

W_modeling (N)

63730

35760

52800

46930

120500

64190

Difference (%)

6.5

6.4

0.76

1.7

6.5

2.0

Table 6.

Comparison of energy method and modeling method of scissor arms static stability.

Case

Factor1

31.86

-17.879

-26.413

-23.462

Factor2

160.91

31.86

31.863

-31.228

Fcr,1 (N)

22530

22530

5280

16590

Fcr,2 (N)

22530

22530

22530

22480

Wcr,1 (N)

63730

35760

52800

46930

Wcr,1 (N)

318670

63730

63730

62460

32.093
60.23

31.863
22690

22530

22530
64190

120500

63730

After modeling and calculating six kinds of scissor lifts


critical load, the order of static stability of six cases from
good to bad is: 5, 4, 1, 6, 2, 3.
CONCLUSION
This paper studies the static stability of six kinds of
scissor lifts with one input force of hydraulic actuator, and
the input is on the lines of the nodes of the scissor lifts. The
static stability of six kinds of scissor lifts are compared.

Fig. (10). Model of the first case of scissor lift.

For the stability analysis of single scissor arm, the results


of two methods are basically consistent, which verified the
accuracy of the single scissor arm critical loads. When using
the finite element model to analyze the stability, the method
Eigen value buckling analysis is used. The results of
modeling and simulation is slightly larger than the energy
analysis results, because the Eigen value buckling analysis
result is considered as the upper limit of the critical load.

960

The Open Mechanical Engineering Journal, 2015, Volume 9

Table 7.

Zhang et al.

The buckling factor and critical load of scissor lift models.

Case

Factor_15

12.56

1.97

1.43

13.59

35.755

11.88

W_15(N)

25120

3940

2860

27180

71510

23760

Factor_30

11.25

2.65

3.07

11.64

67.803

10.03

W_30(N)

22500

5300

6140

23280

135606

20060

Factor_45

9.89

3.22

5.2

10.01

87.939

8.70

W_45(N)

19780

6440

10400

20020

175878

17400

Critical load (N)

19780

3940

2860

20020

71510

17400

The stability results of single scissor arm and the scissor


lift are compared. The results obtained from single scissor
arm are better than the overall scissor lift model, which is
due to its stronger boundary conditions. The results of the
overall model are closer to the actual situation. By analyzing
single arm models it is easier to compare theoretical
solutions and modeling solutions, thus the study of stability
of single scissor arm is meaningful.

China (Grant # 2012KYE05). Corresponding author is


grateful to all who provided helps for this research.
REFERENCES
[1]

[2]

CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors confirm that this article content has no
conflict of interest.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

[4]
[5]

This work is supported by National Natural Science


Foundation of China and Civil Aviation Administration of
China jointly funded project (Grant # U1233106), the
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities
funded project (Grant # ZXH2012H007) and the university
scientific research project of Civil Aviation University of

Received: February 17, 2014

[3]

[6]

Revised: March 21, 2015

E.L. Newlin, Waynesboro, Work Platform Lift Machine with


Scissor Lift Mechanism Employing Telescopable ElectroMechanism Lift Actuation Arrangement, US Patent US6044927A,
2000.
T. Liu, and J. Sun, Simulative calculation and optimal design of
scissor lifting mechanism, In: Chinese Control and Decision
Conference, Guilin, 2009, pp. 2079-2082.
H. Tian, and Z. Zhang, Design and simulation based on pro/E for
A hydraulic lift platform in scissors type, Journal of SciVerse
ScienceDirect, vol.16, pp.772-781, 2011.
A. Yenal, and G. C. Sobek, Werner A novel adaptive spatial
scissor-hinge structural mechanism for convertible roofs, Journal
of Engineering Structures, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 1365-1376, 2011.
K. Guo, C. Pan, and X. Zhang, A method of establishing and
analyzing universal kinematics model based on plane scissor-like
element, Journal of Machine Design and Research, vol. 26, no.
6, pp. 27-30, 2010.
I. Raskin, Stiffness and Stability of Deployable Pantographic
Columns, PhD Thesis, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario,
1998.

Accepted: June 9, 2015

Zhang et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.


This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/)
which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.